Rishikesh – the World’s yoga capital
the name “Rishikesh” is associated in a Hindus mind with sanctity and spirituality. Being one of the holiest cities in India, Rishikesh is not just known for its religious significance but also for its most beautiful landscape and nature at the foothills of the Himalayas.
Surrounded by hills on three sides and Holy Ganga flowing through it, Rishikesh is an unforgettable experience. Rishikesh is also the gateway for the Chardham Yatra which leads numberless pilgrims every year to:
- Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the goddess Yamuna
- Gangotri, the source of the Ganges (River Ganga) and seat of the goddess Ganga
- Kedarnath, where a form of the Hindu god Shiva is venerated as one of the twelve jyotirling (linga of light)
- Badrinath, the seat of the Hindu god Vishnu in his aspect of Badrinarayan
Rishkesh is famous for its many ashrams on the banks of the Holy Ganga. And ever since the Beatles spent time at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ’60s (the abandoned ashram is still worth visiting), Rishikesh has been a magnet for spiritual seekers from the West. It is believed that meditation in this sacred place (punya bhumi) leads to salvation. Hindus believe that Rishikesh is the place where Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu.
There are many things one can do and see in Rishikesh apart from studying Sanskrit and Vedanta and practicing Yoga and meditation. Places to see and visit include:
- Triveni Ghat
This is a bathing ghat. Daily in the morning and evening there are thousands who take bath here and enjoy the Maha Aarti being performed.
- Lakshman Jhula
- Ram Jhula
- Gita Bhavan
Place of Guru Shri Ram Sukh Daasji, (the great thinker of his time) Popular among the Hindu Brahmin Community. Twice every year people gather at this ashram to read the Ramayana together.
- Parmarth Niketan
One of the few Ashrams left in India where Kids get the Vedas Education. Many tourists visit here in the evening for Pooja/Aarti. 5PM in Winter and 6PM in summer.
- Neelkanth Mahadev Mela
- Swami Dayananda Ashram
A place of traditional study of Sanskrit and Vedanta
- Trayambakeshwar Temple, Lakshman Jhula.
13 stories high, with different deities throughout, great place to visit.
Adn here a few things you can choose to do while visiting Rishikesh:
- Take a bath in the Holy Ganges
- Check into an Ashram to study Sanskrit, yoga, meditation and Hindu philosophy.
- White Water Rafting Rishikesh is very popular for its rafting on the River Ganga (Ganges)
- Camping Camping in Rishikesh is a very popular activity with many exciting offers related to camping, trecking and rafting
- Kayaking One can learn this sport by taking kayaking courses
- Trekking There are a lot of soft treks in this region, this is an optional thing as some people love to walk in nature and do a bit of bird watching and some prefer to be at the camp and relax and they are already tired with the activities they have done.
- Bungee Jump, (15km ahead of Rishikesh on Rishikesh-Neelkanth road) You can try bungee jump at Jumpin Heights. It is a unique experience in India, a jump from 83 mtrs just above a natural river and have the time of your life.